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No pain, all gain: Mission Animal Hospital offers laser therapy to for pets



He lies in his bed in pain, unable to do the things you know he once loved. It’s finally gotten him. The arthritis. It is everywhere from his back to his hips, making him yelp from the constant pain. You want so badly to help him, to ease him of the unbearable agony that you are sure he is going through. Mission Animal Hospital has the answer to ease discomfort for your extended family members.

Available for both dogs and cats, Mission is now providing laser therapy treatment to relieve pain from a wide array of conditions, including arthritis and post-surgical inflammation. Since October 2013, the animal hospital trialed different lasers and equipment prior to making the decision to permanently implement the procedures.

“Before we even purchased the laser, we wanted to see that this was something that would really benefit our patients and that we weren’t investing in or having our clients pay for something that wasn’t going to benefit them,” office manager Kelley Treiber said.

Traditionally used on human patients, the laser therapy benefits an animal by reducing inflammation and increasing blood circulation. This happens when the affected tissue is able to absorb the wavelengths of light generated by the laser, helping to alter cell metabolism. Because the procedure is firing on nerve cells, many patients find immediate pain relief. Laser therapy won’t interfere with medications the patient is on, posing no risks to other organ systems.

“It is beneficial to a vast array of different conditions that we see here, and a lot of them are conditions that we’ve kind of hit a wall with otherwise, as far as what Western, or traditional medicine can offer,” Treiber said.

In the few months of practicing the laser procedures, Treiber says that the results have been amazing. One of the most memorable success stories, she said, was a female white terrier she had been treating seven months prior to the therapy. After five to six treatments with no other change to the terrier’s regimen, her owner called to say she was essentially a different dog.

DOGGLES!:  Fritz, an older dachshund, gets a spinal laser treatment from Kelley Treiber, the office manager of Mission Animal Hospital. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • DOGGLES!: Fritz, an older dachshund, gets a spinal laser treatment from Kelley Treiber, the office manager of Mission Animal Hospital.

“It’s one thing to hear that from a client, but then I would actually see her walk in the door with her tail up, she’d come running in, she’d actually do a little gallop whereas before she was kind of dragging and slow,” Treiber said. “And that’s, to me, very clear evidence that a dog is feeling better.”

Because one treatment only provides temporary relief and every patient has a wide range of conditions to varying degrees, Mission Animal Hospital suggests for owners to consider laser therapy packages to ensure long-term benefits. One treatment runs for $30, or 10 treatments for $225. One treatment provides a dog or cat with laser treatment for all problem areas.

What makes Mission different from other animal hospitals providing the same care, according to Treiber, is having a high-powered laser that cuts down treatment time. Lower-powered lasers take longer to deliver the same amount of joules of energy required to relieve affected areas. Because many patients are in great pain or have vet anxiety, having a procedure that lasts a couple of minutes rather than 30 to 45 minutes makes all the difference.

Although Mission Animal Hospital uses non-traditional practices, they have an integrative mentality, mixing modern medicine and medical philosophy. Wanting to make sure every patient receives specialized treatment to fit their personal needs, Mission wants to make all options available for owners who treat their pets like family.

“We believe, of course, that Western medicine has so much to offer,” Treiber said, “but there is a whole other world out there that western medicine fails to touch on.”

Fast fact

SLO is about to be blasted with color. The Color Blast Fun Run is happening on Saturday, Jan. 25, at San Luis Obispo High School. This 5k event will begin with registration and entertainment at 9 a.m.; the race starts at 10 a.m. Participation is $25 and children 5 and younger are free to enter. All proceeds go directly to the Alex Cherry Maier Memorial Fund and Scholarship. Maier played soccer for SLO High and died in a car accident last January. For more information or to register for the event, visit


Intern Tally Meyers compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to

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